Ukraine rallies to beat Sweden at Euro 2012

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KIEV, Ukraine — Andriy Shevchenko trumped Zlatan Ibrahimovic on Monday, scoring two great headers to give Ukraine a 2-1 win over Sweden at the European Championship.

Ukraine's Andriy Shevchenko (top, right) heads the ball past goalie Andreas Isaksson to give his team the lead.  MARTIN MEISSNER/ASSOCIATED PRESS
MARTIN MEISSNER/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Ukraine's Andriy Shevchenko (top, right) heads the ball past goalie Andreas Isaksson to give his team the lead.

After Ibrahimovic had given Sweden the lead in the 52nd minute, Shevchenko responded by heading in the equalizer just three minutes later, then added the winner in the 62nd.

“We showed today our character, our good football,” Shevchenko said. “We have very good chances to qualify.”

The victory gives Ukraine a serious chance of advancing from Group D, while Sweden faces an uphill battle to remain in the tournament.

Shevchenko is already a national icon in Ukraine. In front of sea of yellow and blue in the packed Olympic Stadium, he certainly didn’t disappoint.

Showing flashes of the scorer’s instinct that once made him one of the world’s top strikers, Shevchenko beat Olof Mellberg to a cross for his first goal, then met a corner to head the ball inside the near post for the second, setting of shouts of “Sheva” that will likely reverberate for a long time.

FRANCE 1, ENGLAND 1

In Donetsk, Ukraine, France dominated England everywhere except on the scoreboard.

The English held on for a 1-1 draw with France, giving the Group D favorites one point each. The French finished the match with 19 shots, 15 on target. England had only three toward net.

Joleon Lescott put Eng­land in the lead with a header in the 30th minute, and Samir Nasri leveled for France shortly before halftime with a strike into the bottom corner of the net.

France still has not won a match at a major tournament since the 2006 World Cup. The national team, however, is unbeaten in its past 22 matches.


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